Angels in America Part 2: Perestroika, currently gracing the stage at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, is a powerful and thought-provoking production that delves deep into the complexities of human relationships, politics, and the pursuit of hope amidst adversity. With its exceptional cast, skillful direction, and poignant storytelling, this play is a must-see for theater enthusiasts seeking a profound and emotionally charged experience.
Set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis in 1980s America, Perestroika continues the epic journey initiated in Part 1: Millennium Approaches that is set to re-debut at MET on October 20, 21, and 26. The play explores the lives of its diverse characters, each grappling with their own personal struggles and the larger societal issues of the time. Tony Kushner’s masterful script seamlessly weaves together themes of love, loss, identity, and the search for redemption, creating a tapestry of emotions that resonates long after the final curtain falls.
Under the expert direction of Tad Janes, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre brings the script to life with remarkable precision and sensitivity. The production’s set design, though minimalistic, effectively transports the audience through various locations, from hospital rooms to surreal dreamscapes, enhancing the play’s dreamlike quality. The lighting design, skillfully executed, adds depth and intensity to the emotional moments, creating a visually stunning experience.
The ensemble cast delivers outstanding performances, capturing the essence of their characters with authenticity and nuance. Each actor skillfully navigates the complex emotional terrain of their roles, leaving the audience captivated and emotionally invested. Standout performances include Jeremy Myers as Prior Walter, whose portrayal of a man grappling with illness and his own mortality is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Jack Evans as Roy Cohn, the ruthless lawyer, delivers a chilling performance, embodying the character’s unapologetic ambition and moral decay.
The play’s exploration of political and social issues is as relevant today as it was during the 1980s. Perestroika delves into themes of power, corruption, and the struggle for justice, offering a scathing critique of societal norms and the consequences of unchecked authority. The play’s ability to seamlessly blend these weighty topics with moments of humor and tenderness is a testament to Kushner’s skill as a playwright.
While the play’s length may be daunting for some, the captivating performances and engrossing narrative make the time fly by. Perestroika is a theatrical experience that demands the audience’s full attention, rewarding them with a profound and transformative journey.
In conclusion, Angels in America Part 2: Perestroika at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre is a triumph of storytelling and performance. With its exceptional cast, skillful direction, and evocative themes, this production is a testament to the enduring power of theater. Prepare to be moved, challenged, and inspired by this remarkable play that reminds us of the strength of the human spirit in the toughest times. Get your tickets here.
photo credit: Meech Creative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angels Land in Frederick: A Month of Art and Cultural Reflection
September 29 – October 29, 2023
FREDERICK, MD – October 2, 2023 –
This October, the City of Frederick, Maryland, is set to become a vibrant hub of artistic expression and cultural reflection as Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) proudly presents Angels in America. Simultaneously, the Memorial AIDS Quilt will be displayed at the District Arts Gallery, and art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in William Cochran’s “Angels in Architecture” mural series located within walking distance of MET and District Arts, comprising “Egress,” “Earthbound,” and “The Edge of Gravity.” This convergence of artistry promises to be a transformative moment for the city, celebrating the concept of angels in various forms and shedding light on important cultural themes.
Angels in America at MET is a theatrical masterpiece written by Tony Kushner that examines love, politics, and identity during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. This powerful production delves into the lives of its characters, offering a fresh perspective on enduring themes that resonate with audiences today.
The Memorial AIDS Quilt, a symbol of remembrance and resilience, will be on display at the District Arts Gallery, serving as a poignant reminder of the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on our society. Each quilt panel pays tribute to a life lost and is a testament to the strength of the community in the face of adversity.
Adding to the city’s angelic theme, William Cochran’s “Angels in Architecture” mural series graces the downtown area. These three captivating murals, titled “Archangel,” “Earthbound” (co-created with Paul Wilson), and “The Edge of Gravity,” provide a visual journey through the concept of angels, exploring their significance in art and culture. Cochran recalls when “Angels in America” was first produced in 1991, the same year that he created “The Edge of Gravity,” as an earthquake cultural moment.
Maryland Ensemble Theatre is dedicated to producing high-quality theatrical performances that engage and challenge audiences while addressing relevant community issues. This cultural initiative represents a significant collaboration between Frederick’s cultural leaders.
Embrace this unique opportunity to celebrate the arts, reflect on important cultural themes, and explore the concept of angels in various artistic forms this October in Frederick. Join us in this extraordinary convergence of creativity and cultural significance.
About Angels in America:
Angels in America, Part 2 Perestroika, opens September 29, and runs in rep with the remounted Angels in America, Part 1 Millennium.
Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for Seniors (65+) and Military, and $15 for students. A limited number of Pay What You Will tickets are available for each performance starting at $5 each, while inventory lasts. Tickets may be purchased by phone at (301) 694- 4744, online at marylandensemble.org, or in person at the MET box office.
Contains strong language and sexual themes, recommended for ages 18+
Director Tad Janes*
Stage Manager Shayden Jamison*
Asst. Stage Manager Olivia Pietanza*
Set Design Tad Janes*
Lighting Design Shana Joslyn
Video/Projection Design Tom Majarov*
Costume Design Rachel Smith*
Sound Design Kaydin Hamby
Props Design Lori Boyd
Dramaturg Steve Satta
Dialect Coach Eric Jones*
Fight/Intimacy Coordinator Julie Herber*
Deck Crew Morgan Karama
Production Manager Melynda Burdette Wintrol*
Technical Director Cody James*
Roy M. Cohn Jack Evans*
Joseph Porter Pitt Matt Baughman
Harper Amaty Pitt Shea-Mikal Green*
Louis Ironson Eric Jones*
Prior Walter Jeremy Myers*
Hannah Pitt Julie Herber*
Belize Ray Hatch*
The Angel Tori Weaver*
*Denotes MET Ensemble Member
About Maryland Ensemble Theatre: We are a professional, collaborative theatre ensemble broadly connected to our community by inspiring passion for the arts with courageous, relevant, accessible programs that enable people to feel more, think deeper, and laugh longer.
To learn more about MET, visit www.marylandensemble.org.
For the latest updates, like us on Facebook! @MarylandEnsemble
About DISTRICT Arts:
DISTRICT Arts is a contemporary art gallery in the heart of the historic district in downtown
Frederick, MD. The gallery features local, regional and nationally recognized working artists
whose creations evoke the modern world through the dramatic use of color and form, reflect
world influences and diversity, and inspire, challenge, entertain and educate. For more
information, visit www.districtarts.com.
About “Angels in Architecture” Mural Series:
“Archangel,” Community Bridge, Carol Creek, Northside, Frederick
“Earthbound,” (Co-created with Pual Wilson) 45 N. Market St. (north side wall) Frederick
“The Edge of Gravity,” 43 S. Market St. (south side wall) Frederick
Cochran’s “Dreaming” Installation is displayed on the exterior entrance of Maryland Ensemble Theatre – while noteworthy, it is not a deliberate part of the “Angels in Architecture” mural series.
Maryland Ensemble Theatre
National AIDS Memorial
Bill & Staci McLauchlan